The study, called "Deposition of respiratory virus pathogens on frequently touched surfaces at airports", was based on 90 surface samples and four air samples collected by the scientists at Helsinki Airport in Finland during and after peak hours in the winter of 2016.
The University of Nottingham said the most common virus found in the survey was rhinovirus, which causes the common cold, while the swabs also picked up the influenza A virus.
The researchers said that the results make sense given that the security process is mandatory for all the passengers and the plastic security trays are "rapidly recycled and potentially touched by several hundred passengers per day".
Respiratory virus germs were also found on surfaces in the children's play area, payment terminals, stair handrails, and a desk and divider glass at the passport check area.
So after you grab your phone and shoes from airport security, consider washing your hands.
The study made recommendations for stopping the spread of disease at airport security areas.
Results found proof of viruses on 10 percent of surfaces, with security trays as the most common culprit.
Surprisingly, of all the samples tested, security trays were found to be harboring the highest potential risk of viral contamination.
Virology expert Niina Ikonen from the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare said: "The presence of microbes in the environment of an airport has not been investigated previously".
Frequent cleaning, they pointed out, is exactly why an unlikely surface topped the list of the most virus-free spots in the airport: the toilet.
In a statement, the University of Nottingham's Professor of Health Protection Jonathan Van Tram suggested that travelers minimize the spread of contagious viruses by washing their hands and coughing into a handkerchief or sleeve while in public, which is the same advice elementary school teachers give their students.
Your best bet? Wash your hands as much as possible and keep the trusty hand sanitizer on standby.